Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - 21

mild to moderate pain, acute illnesses
such as shingles, well-woman visits,
headaches, skin rashes and infections,
fever, ear pain, mild to moderate respiratory disorders and persistent cough.
Wait times: Typically days or weeks,
depending on appointment availability;
sometimes same-day.
When you can go: Typical business
hours, Monday through Friday.
Cost: Going to primary care is the
best option for your wallet, but don't try
to save money by going there with an
emergency-they'll send you to the hospital and you'll lose treatment time.

The Emergency
Department

Often called emergency rooms or ERs,
emergency departments are for just
that-emergencies. The problem is
knowing what qualifies. Some situations are obvious: heart attacks, burst
appendixes and major injuries sustained in car crashes. But what about
when the signs are subtle?
"If you think you're having an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest
ER," says John Rogers, MD, president-elect of the American College of
Emergency Physicians. "We shouldn't
expect people to determine if they're
having an emergency or not. We can't
always tell based solely on the chief
complaint, so why would you expect to
be able to?"
Head to the ER for: Trouble breathing, fainting, signs of heart attack or
stroke, sudden severe headache, prolonged dizziness, sudden confusion,
bleeding that won't stop, broken bones,
cuts that expose bone or tissue, serious burns, coughing up blood, severe
pain, severe allergic reactions, high
fever (above 103 F for adults, 104 F in
children older than 3 months and 100.4
F for infants up to 3 months), persistent vomiting or diarrhea, seizures and
suicidal thoughts.
Wait times: Vary, depending on
severity of condition, from immediate
to several hours.

When you can go: Always; open 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
Cost: Emergency departments are
the most expensive type of care, but
they're also the most well-equipped to
deal with every ailment-and quickly.
Don't let cost stop you from getting
lifesaving care.

Urgent Care

Urgent care centers fill a gap between primary and emergency care. They typically
have basic lab and imaging equipment
such as X-ray machines as well as the ability to treat minor illnesses and injuries.
"If it's not an emergency and your
family doctor is unable to see you, then
you've got urgent care," McNeeley says.
"Most urgent care clinics are open every
day of the year, and you don't need
an appointment."
Head to urgent care for: Ear infections, sore throat, small lacerations,
minor burns, mild allergic reactions,
mild to moderate asthma, fever, flu, back
pain, skin rashes, sprains and strains,
simple fractures, urinary tract infections, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhea
and mild dehydration.
Wait times: Vary, depending on number of patients ahead of you (first come,
first served).
When you can go: Urgent care clinics
are usually open 10 or more hours a day,
seven days a week.
Cost: Your cost will most likely be
more than a visit to your primary care
doctor but still well below your cost at
the emergency department. Here, you're
paying for convenience. ■

NEXT
LEVEL
OF CARE

Emergency departments handle a wide
range of ailments, but only designated
trauma centers can handle the most
serious emergencies, including major
injuries from car crashes, falls and gunshot wounds. There are five levels of
trauma care.
Level I (highest): Offering the
most comprehensive emergency care,
Level I trauma centers have general
surgeons on staff 24/7, plus immediate access to the following specialties:
orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery,
anesthesiology, emergency medicine,
radiology, internal medicine, plastic
surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery,
pediatrics and critical care.
Level II: These trauma centers have
24-hour coverage by general surgeons
and easy access to orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology,
emergency medicine, radiology and
critical care.
Level III: Level III trauma centers
have timely access to general surgeons
and anesthesiologists.
Level IV: Level IV trauma centers
have 24-hour laboratory services, and
trauma nurses and physicians available
on patient arrival to stabilize people
prior to being transferred to a higherlevel center.
Level V: These trauma centers evaluate patients prior to being transferred
to higher-level centers. Some Level V
trauma centers are not open 24/7.

WEBSITE

All Levels of Care
As a Level I trauma center, UVA Health System can treat every type of emergency. We also have a separate ER for kids, and an express care for minor
emergencies like sprains and lacerations. Learn more at uvahealth.com.

FALL 2018

21


http://www.uvahealth.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover3
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